Northland School

Stellin Memorial Park

War Medal

War medal. James Kingston Stellin was flying in a patrol of four Hawker Typhoon fighters across northern France searching for retreating German tanks. He flew down to investigate a wood where he thought some might be hiding.

When he came to rejoin his group he got confused and flew in the wrong direction. When he realised this, it was too late. Hawker Typhoons have quite a low range (because of their large engines) and soon he would be forced to land.... or to crash in enemy territory.

He decided to carry on hoping to reach a place to land. However his plane soon reached critical low levels of petrol and he knew he would have to jump out to survive. As he was preparing to jump he realised that if he did his plane would crash into the school in the small village of St Maclou La Briere.

At the last minute he managed to veer his plane to the side to avoid the village. He attempted to jump out and deploy his parachute but it was too late. His parachute was caught in the plane's slipstream and it failed to open properly and he was killed.

For this selfless act he was awarded one of the highest French war medals, Croix de Guerre avec Palme.

Certificate awarded to James Stellin by the French Government.

This is a copy of the certificate awarded to James Stellin by the French Government.